Tag Archives: Growth

Daily Mass: Starting small. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Tuesday of the 30th Week of the Year

Like a mustard seed and some yeast, the Kingdom of God grows and transforms into something entirely new.  What’s more, this process happens as we offer our lives…following the example of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


23rd Sunday of the Year: Sending and receiving a message from the heart. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – 23rd Sunday of the Year

One of the hardest things about the Christian faith is the giving and receiving of a tough message, the kind of message that hits our hearts and requires us to grow as children of God.  Whether it’s something that needs to be said or something that needs to be heard, may we call upon the Lord for the courage we need to let the message of Jesus Christ speak to our souls.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: The lesson of a grain of wheat. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Thursday of the 18th Week of the Year (St. Lawrence)

When a grain of wheat falls to the ground it dies, and through this sacrifice of itself it begets new life.  Our sacrifices – when directed by the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ – can also become a rich offering to the Lord, who will change and transform us with his gift of life.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: Growing as Sons and Daughters of God. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Friday of the 17th Week of the Year (St. John Vianney)

Jesus returns to the village where he grew up and encountered the disbelief of those who were trapped in the past.  All of us are works in progress and every day provides us with one more opportunity to grow as Sons & Daughters of God…even if those who knew us as children fail to see how far we’ve grown.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


Daily Mass: The growth of a seed. Catholic Inspiration

Mass Readings – Wednesday of the 16th Week of the Year

God does the planting, and it’s our job to do what we can to help the seeds grow.  What’s the Lord planting in your heart today?  What are the obstacles?  What can you do to cultivate a harvest worth of the Lord?

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


15th Sunday of the Year: The garden of our hearts

Garden 1

Study:  What are some virtues that you would like to cultivate in your life?  What are some vices that need to be weeded out?

Pray:  Everyday provides a new opportunity for personal growth.  Ask the Lord for the strength and wisdom to grow in holiness.

Serve:  Name one little thing you can do for another; now make it happen.

Mass Readings – 15th Sunday of the Year

Since returning to the Cathedral as rector eight years ago, one thing I miss is gardening.  Time is precious, and my current work does not readily lend itself to the effort it takes to keep a garden.  Yet all things being equal, there is no other place in the summer that I would rather be than rooting around in the dirt – picking weeds, pruning, staking, watering, hoeing, and “looking at” the plants.

Gardening is a metaphor that teaches us about ministry and life.  Spending time in the garden forces us to slow down and attend to a cycle that is not our own.  We pay closer attention to the wonder and beauty of nature, and we can be surprised and  amazed by what we see.

Plants truly are hopeful optimists in a world of pessimism.  Every year flowers and vegetables produce thousands of seeds, each seed capable of new and beautiful life.  Yet for all these seeds only a few survive.  Some are taken as produce, some by the weather, and some by the rabbits!

Nature knows that life is difficult.  There are so many obstacles and challenges in the world that it is essential to cast hundreds and thousands of seeds, just so that a few might be able to continue the cycle of life.  The power of nature is that even a few seeds can change the landscape, bringing nourishment and beauty to the earth.

Jesus knew this.  He spoke to hundreds and thousands of the hope and life that are possible in His Father’s Kingdom.  He cured countless people and preached tirelessly to any who would hear.  Like the garden plants, he cast LOTS of seed.

Yet many people did not act on his message.  Many mocked him, plotted against him, or simply walked away.  Some got excited for a time, but then they got bored, discouraged, or caught up in other interests.  Simply put, much of the seed cast by Jesus was lost or destroyed.

Yet in his parable to the crowds Jesus shows his tremendous hope.  It only takes a few seeds for an incredible harvest!  A 30x, 60x, or 100x harvest was amazing in the ancient world (and it is not too shabby today!).  For those who heed the word of God, they, too, will yield a crop that will defy worldly doubt.

As the Master Gardener, the Lord continues to work in our lives.  The invitation today is that our faith will take root and flourish in our hearts.  We are given the chance to garden our souls, fostering a faith that is worthy of the Lord’s harvest.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts


The Ascension of the Lord

Sunset

Study:  Transitions are a time of uncertainty.  Consider a time when you experienced a transition: how did it feel?  How did you face it?

Pray:  When faced with the unknown we come to the Lord for direction.  Pray that the Holy Spirit will send both wisdom (to know what to do), and strength (so you can do it).

Serve:  Who in your life is alone right now.  How might you walk with another in a time of transition and uncertainty?

Mass Readings – The Ascension of the Lord

There are moments in life when it is difficult to say good-bye.  Whether it is a relocation through work, the completion of school, or the death of a loved one, we know that these events challenge us to move on with the transitions in life.

The Feast of the Ascension marks one of these transitions in the Church.  This feast demands that we ask the question, “Now what?” as the Lord is taken from our midst.  The disciples must now discover the new ways that God is at work in their lives – especially now that Jesus is no longer with them.

But unlike other transitions, where people pass out of our lives and are separated from us by physical distances or death, Jesus leaves his disciples in a different way.  By ascending into heaven he does not move out of our lives, but rather he comes into contact with all life.  Through his ascension the Holy Spirit comes upon all people, and Jesus touches our lives in a new and mysterious way.

The mystery of the Ascension is closely connected to the Resurrection of Jesus.  The early Church recognized that the saving work which God did through Jesus included both of these events.  We say in the Creed, “…he rose from the dead…(and) ascended into heaven…” in the same breath – for these two events show that the Lord’s work is unlike anything else ever done before.

Through his Resurrection, death and sin no longer have power over Jesus Christ; his sacrifice on the Cross offers hope for the whole world.  Through his Ascension, all people can know Jesus and the Spirit; taken up to heaven, the Lord is now present to all people regardless of time or space.

This feast reminds us that Christ does not abandon his people.  The Lord is near, and we enjoy his presence even though we cannot touch him as the disciples did.  We know that God walks with us, and we trust that the Lord will give us the strength to carry out the mission of the gospel through the transitions we face in this life.

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Archive of Fr. Andrew’s Podcasts

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This blog was originally published on May 5, 2013.